Housing Resources for Pet Parents
Many animals each year find themselves at animal shelters across the country because they are separated from their family or their owner is no longer able to care for them. However, one of the biggest reasons animals end up at a humane society or animal shelter is housing problems. This past year included a global pandemic, highly active hurricane season and limited resources, but housing problems have not disappeared.
As of right now, over 12,000 families in Orleans Parish are behind on rent. While not all of these people likely be evicted, and while many will retain their pets despite their challenges, this is still a frighteningly high number of people at risk. Looming evictions are making life more precarious for pets and people and we are seeing the financial impacts of COVID cause people to have to give up their pets.
Finding a home that accommodates both you and your pet can be difficult, especially if you are renting. Many landlords are understandably nervous about renting to pet owners. After all, there are people who allow their pets to damage property and disturb neighbors. Luckily, our friends at The Humane Society of the United States have compiled helpful information for every pet owner who rent including resolving landlord issues and finding pet-friendly housing.
Finding rental housing that welcomes all pets regardless of breed or size can be difficult. You can increase your chance of success with the following tips and ideas:
- Allow as much time as possible to search.
- Research animal-friendly listings and realtors using online classified ads.
- Reach out to friends and family, using networking sites and social media to uncover connections and opportunities.
- Even if a landlord advertises “no pets” or has size or breed restrictions, some will make exceptions, especially when they are pet lovers themselves.
- Create a “resume” for your pet that includes a photo, favorite activities, certifications, and even a short adoption story. You could also include a letter of reference from a recent landlord.
- Invite landlords to meet your pet.
- Be prepared and willing to pay a reasonable extra amount in rent or pay a refundable pet deposit.
Once you’ve found the right place, the next step is signing a lease! A lease that says “no pets allowed” should never be signed, even if the landlord says it’s okay.
Our paw-some friends at the Humane Society of the United States has tons of additional resources for pet owners having issues with housing and information can be found here.